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Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results by Jenny Dearborn

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Chapter 8Prescribing What to Do

As Hunter Cooke sat in his home office preparing for another day in the field, the stacks of unfinished travel reports and unpaid credit card bills that littered his desk mirrored the way he felt: scattered and out of control. It was already early August, and he was languishing in the bottom half of Trajectory's sales rep ranking.

His performance the year before had been miserable, too, but people had excused it because that was his first year with the company. He expected to do better this year—everyone expected him to do better—but so far he had only closed a few small deals. His manager was calling him practically every day telling him to get out of the office and make more calls. At one point Joe, the head of sales, also called him personally to give him an old school “win one for the Gipper” speech (not that Cooke knew who the Gipper was). That call just made him more depressed. Could it be that his superiors thought he was lazy? But if anything, Cooke was working too hard. He was racing around making so many calls that he felt like he was living one of those bad dreams he sometimes had, in which he was running as fast as he could but never getting anywhere.

It would have helped if all of the other reps were having the same problem, but Cooke had heard that a few of them were doing quite well. He was also aware of a new sense of excitement back at company headquarters in Palo Alto, and he was starting to resent the way those overly optimistic ...

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